1st Week in Review

Well, my intention was to write an entry for each day, but with setting up this and two other Weblogs this week, I didn’t quite get to it. So I thought that while I am sitting here, eating my 1/2 cup of oatmeal and 8 oz. fruit stuff two hours before our first official team run, I would throw down my thoughts for the first week. (Thanks Bobby, for convicting me about eating breakfast.)

Day 1 – 3 miles – Up at 5:30 and out the door at about 6:05. I changed my run to include more hill and longer up hill grades. After last weeks team run, I think I was a little spent. I ran in a pretty good time for me, but I did not feel good anywhere in the run. After the run and a shower though, I felt pretty good. It was a good day at work, being pumped-up about getting started and giving those who had not run yet a hard time. (Benefit of running in the morning, you have it over with and don’t have to dread the run at night)

Day 2 – Rest Day – Working on the blog and already dreading the 4 miles tomorrow. Dread is a bad thing, since it tends to ruin your rest day. I guess dread is a form of worry, which as we all know, is a weight we really should not carry. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt 4:36) AND 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11 28-30).

Day 3 – 4 miles – Up at 5:00 to get my wife and nephew off to the hospital for his shoulder surgery. I was out the door at 5:45. Temperature in the 50’s, I ran in short in a T-shirt. Can’t expect this every. How was the run. Well, go to my entry entitled “I hate to Run”. I made it through and in a reasonable time, but I was hating it.

Day 4 – 3 miles – Up at 5:30 out the door at about 6:15. (By the way, oatmeal is gross when you let it get cold, that last bite was not at all satisfying, thanks again Bobby) Anyway, running still sucks, but getting finished feels great. Better than finishing, getting to the computer to reading “The Adventures of Mailbox Mike”. (Refer to Michael’s Blog)  Had a Team Meeting at lunch.  The team has dwindled down to about 11 people.  Everyone seems pretty committed and I am excited about running this road with them.

Day 5 – Rest Day  – Nothing eventful to speak of today.  Leaky sink at the house to fix, just regular life.  Life goes on amidst the excitement of week one.  Team run tomorrow (Today actually), yippee!

See you guys in a few minutes.

Team Injury

If your praying with us, pray for Zach.  He is experiencing shin splints that are really hampering his training.  He will be going to the Dr. soon.  Pray for wisdom for the doctors and rapid healing for Zach.

Thanks

Attitude (Yes, it is a forward)

I can’t claim this story.  It was forwarded to me by my wife, but I like it.
Attitude
John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, ‘If I were any better, I would be twins!’

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, ‘I don’t get it!

You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?’

He replied, ‘Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or … you can choose
to be in a bad mood

I choose to be in a good mood.’

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or…I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or… I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

‘Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,’ I protested.

‘Yes, it is,’ he said. ‘Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life.’

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, ‘If I were any better, I’d be twins…Wanna see my scars?’

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

‘The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,’ he replied. ‘Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or…I could choose to die. I chose to live.’

‘Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?’ I asked

He continued, ‘..the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man’. I knew I needed to take action.’

‘What did you do?’ I asked.

‘Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,’ said John. ‘She asked if I was allergic to anything ‘Yes, I replied.’ The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Gravity’.’

Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.’

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude… I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Is this fun?

Did I ever tell you that I hate to run?  Running can not be natural.  If you think about it, gravity and friction fight against our every step.  But to survive, we pretty much need to  move around to get the food we need to survive.  We need that food to fuel our bodies so we can move around, and, wait a minute…… what a cruel trick.

When I was in High School, I ran 4 years of track and one year of Cross Country.   I was not not a great runner, but I did pretty well.  I hated running then.  Why did I rn if hated running?  I had a bigger goal.  I had something working in me that over road my hate for running.  I was a wrestler.  I had to stay in shape, so if I had run, I might as well get some accountability and competition to drive me on.   So I ran.

I run now because there is something bigger than my hate of running.  I pray that at some point I will get “addicted” to running and will  begin to love it, but I am not holding my breath.

We are all born into a situation that was not intended for us.  God intended only good for us, but we chose a life rebelling against his plan.  Something in us drives us to fight against the very things which would bring us true fulfillment and joy.  The gravity and friction of sin continue to drag me to a stand still.  He has given us a plan and stands by to assist us in overcoming the hurdles that our own selfishness has laid before us.  Thankfully, if we place our faith in the  “Coach of Coaches” and his training plan, we can win against these forces that fight against us.

 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–>20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”  Romans 7:14-25

Why do I call myself old?

Why do I call myself old you ask?  I know many people that are older than me, that are more active, in better shape, and much more alert than I am. Old has nothing to do with age.  It seems that those people understand the sentiment of Henry David Thoreau:
 "I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life, and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived."
Over the years, I have allowed life to suck the marrow out of me so to speak and rob me of joys that come with being alive. I have lived a life full of blessing that should have filled my days with dancing. Instead, I wallowed in negative feelings of what could have been.  What was I thinking!  Like Theoden, King of Rohan, in J.R.R. Tolken’s, Lord of The Rings, I have been weakened and aged by years of self doubt and negative thinking. 
I am not old!  Most of the heroes of the Old Testament were not considered worthy of anointing until they were much older than me.  Unlike Zachariah, John the Baptist’s father, I am pretty confident that, as our wise pastor so eloquently stated, “all the plumbing still works.”  It is time to step up and take hold of the reigns of my life and live on purpose, and obtain the joy that comes with living.  Find your passion and join me in this quest to live life to its fullest.
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs-even. Though checkered by failure than to take rank with these poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much. Be wise, they live in the gray twilight that know not of victory, nor defeat, nor true sorrow nor true love."--Theodore Roosevelt

Praying for You

During my week day runs, I will be using that time to lift up prayer requests that are shared with me. The plan is to record them and listen and agree during the runs.

If you have a prayer request that you would like me to lift up send it to cfarley@insightbb.com I will not post them here, unless you request it. I want to redeem ever bit of time I can during my training.

General Prayer Requests

I make light of this journey in many of my posts, but in my heart, I am quite serious about this effort and want this to be a spring board to making our world a little bit better.  There will be many struggles, priority challenges, and life will go on while we train.

We would appreciate any who are willing, to lift us up in prayer.  I will share personal and team prayer requests in posts in this section.

Pray for:

  • Safety and health for the team in training.
  • Success in our fund raising efforts and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Ordering of our priorities (family, work, training, personal time, etc)
  • Strengthening of our relationships with each other, our friends and our families

Check back often and thanks for your support.

The Last Preseason Run

I met with 4 other runners today to knock out a last pre season 5 mile run. It was the first time I ran with anyone else since I started running again. I went into it with little trepidation, but maybe I have gotten a little cocky. We started of at a good pace I felt like we were running a little slow. I guess my judgment of pace is not so great.

We ran about a mile when we first hit a bit of an up hill climb. By about 1 1/2 miles I started to feel that tickle in my chest. My normal course has some hills, but no long grades like this. My nose was a bit congested and I was mouth breathing which did not help that chest issue.  I struggled on and at about 3 miles, that chest issue was a full blown wheeze.  This was the first asthma attack since I have been running.   A couple of hits on that performance enhancing steroid, Albuterol, an my breathing returned to normal however, as expected, heart rate increased.

At about 3 1/2 miles I had to walk due t my heart rate monitor alarm.  Every time we went up hill for any significant time, I had to walk a spell.  My teammates graciously slowed a bit so I could catch back.

With all of my little struggles, I still finished with the group and we finished at a better pace than I have yet, 10:20 min/mile.

I want to thank the team for the encouragement and patience.

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

Thanks guys!

Training Up to Now

About a month and a half ago I committed to run in the Derby Festival Marathon (April 26th, 2008) with a few other morons from Mason and Hanger. (see the About page for why) To seal the deal I went out and bought a good pair of shoes (now I have to run). Additionally, we decided to run for a charity. This means other people are counting on us, so I guess this thing is for real. Our official training starts on January 7th, 2008. Wait a minute, I have not run over 3 miles in over 20 years! What have I gotten myself into!

20 years ago, running 3 or 4 miles a few time a week did not seem like much of a challenge. I was an athlete. I ran all the time. I ran Cross Country and the 2 mile in track. It’s like riding a bike. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I had new shoes, I had new shorts, I new sweats. I was ready. I stepped out the door, stretched out those hammies, calves, and quads.  I tried to touch those toes, but it seems that there is a bit of an obstruction about half way down that not only obscured my view of the little piggies, but also seemed to get in the way of that natural folding point also know as the waist. Well, no big deal, I don’t run with my mid section anyway. I walked down the hill to my pre-measured, ½ mile, block.

After a few minutes of talking to myself and jumping around to limber up, I started off. I fell right into my old cross country pace and breathing patterns. Just like the bike! About 20 steps later, I began to wonder why I was trying to run the 100 yard dash. I slowed down a bit. 10 paces later, I remembered abdominal breathing and realized that my abdomen was supporting other burdens and was not interested in helping me breathe. Better slow down some more. 30 paces later, my knees were really beginning to feel that ½ % grade. Better take a little more off that pace. I didn’t see them, but someone must have snuck-up and thrown a bucket of liquid on me, because all of my clothes were soaked. Can’t run quite so fast with all this extra liquid. Well, at least I am about half way around the block (maybe 400 yards, old days, 60 seconds). I dragged myself around the rest of the block. I never walked, but I sure wanted to.

In 1980, I ran the anchor leg of the 4×800 meter relay at the state championships in Maryland. I ran my 800 meters (1/2 mile) in 1 minute and 59 seconds. 27 years later I struggled through a 1/2 mile in a staggering 6 minutes and 52 seconds. Needless to say, I was not encouraged. But I did not give up.

Our team read a book, Ultra Marathon Man, which helped keep me going. The key motivational phrase I came away with; “If I don’t hurt after a run, I didn’t work hard enough.” Well, I hurt, so it was good training. Over the next month I ran 3 to 4 times a week. For two weeks I increase my speed and distance every run. One month after I started, I ran 5 miles finishing up with that same half mile at twice the speed. I will probably never run a 5 minute mile again, but at least I know that I can always do a little better.

It still hurts when I run, but it is the hurt of muscles complaining about years of neglect. Those muscles never seem to let me forget that they need constant attention. The real training is convincing my will that he is king.

Tomorrow I run a 5 mile run with “the guys”. (pre-season) I am at least ready for that. I’ll let you know how that goes. Monday the real race begins.